BCCI ponders over matching red-ball fee with IPL contracts

Domestic red-ball cricket in India has stirred up quite a bit of controversy in recent weeks. With some star cricketers citing niggles and workload management, players have been skipping the Ranji Trophy and instead focusing on the IPL (Indian Premier League).

However, to sort out the matter, the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) is reportedly looking to reevaluate the value of annual retainership contracts, and it will be done with an eye on increasing the value for red-ball cricketers.

It is also worth noting that the quality of the Ranji Trophy has deteriorated significantly due to the players prioritizing the shorter formats, and it has been reported by the Times of India that the BCCI has been in discussions with team India head coach Rahul Dravid, skipper Rohit Sharma, and chief selector Ajit Agarkar to sort out ways to revive interest in the longest format of the game.

“The board has asked for recommendations from the Indian team management. They are taking a very aggressive approach towards maintaining the sanctity of the longest format of the game. It is imperative that players who are committed to first-class cricket are rewarded at a similar level as IPL cricket. That would mean that existing remuneration has to be multiplied,” a BCCI source quoted.

The source also added that the BCCI is looking to increase the Test match and first-class fee up to three times, which means that if a player manages to play every match in a Ranji Trophy season, he should be able to make around INR 75 lakh, which matches an IPL contract.

“The recommendations are on the lines of increasing the Test match and first-class fees by three times. The idea is that if a player plays the entire Ranji Trophy, he should be able to make around Rs 75 lakhs which matches an average IPL contract. It has also been suggested that if a player plays all Test matches in a year, he should be able to make Rs 15 crores which is at par for any marquee IPL contract,” the source added.